Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year, The Usual Resolutions

You are not going to be shocked by anything on this list.  It is my usual list that I obtain some degree of success on every year.  The more I do actual New years resolutions the more I see why we do this as a culture.  While most of the time I keep my resolutions far past the January joiner stage, something about the onset of fall always results in a dropping off the rest of the years habits.  Then it's holidays and it's cold and we are busy and I don't care anymore..... and then TA DA its a NEW YEAR.  Time to get back on the horse again.  All of the horses.  In their various manifestations.  I am much less organized this year, but here is the list and my plans.

* Specific exercise goals like I covered last year will be a different, more motivated post.  One step at a time.*

1.  Read at least 26 books.

I am a reader.  Always have been.  This year was pretty pathetic on the reading side of things.  I think TV watching and staring at my blank computer screen filled in the time gaps.  My husband has 1000 hobbies and is always at work on one of them.  I have reading, video games, and working out.  I've mostly just been doing the gaming and staring at my computer screen.  No more!  2 books a month or bust!  I also already have the 26 books picked out, but I am open to changes.

2. Bible Study.

I was doing really well with this for a month...maybe two.  Then I just stopped.  No particular reason.  I was really enjoying my daily Bible readings and going over passages I particularly enjoyed to help set up prayer times.  To keep me on task this time I have set up a reminder on my phone ( Using the Life Reminders App) to go off every day at 8 pm.  This will hopefully remind me to go get my study Bible and go through the reading for the day.

I am also adding to this goal to meditate at least 2x a week.  I need to get some more tools in my meditations tool box and I can't do that unless I am practicing regularly.  I realize two times a week is not regularly, but you have to start somewhere.

3.  Masters

I really need to stop being a cry baby whiner and just start a masters program.  This is getting ridiculous.

4.  Stretch every morning and 5.  Lay out Clothes every morning. 11. Budget

On every goal list I've ever had since the beginning of time.  Ever.

6.  Cleaning.

When I was little my mother use to try to shame me into cleaning my room by saying something about how horrible my house was going to look when I grew up.  I am not a cleaner.  Never have been never will be.  On top of that I am  a serious clutter bug.  So this goal is two fold.  Clean AND declutter.  I set up my schedule on life reminders for the cleaning and my husband and I will work on the decluttering together.

7.  Call my brother more - Self explanatory

8.  Work out three days a week  10 Track calories

I've been really really terrible at working out.  Other times when I said I was doing terrible I was still in Spin class or taking weekend rides.  I've been doing NOTHING for MONTHS.  I had some medical problems and was not able to ride my bike or take spin class.  Once that habit was gone it was really really gone.  I need to get back into a routine and get some muscle back.

9.  Take more pictures

I got the super awesome camera that I wanted for Christmas.  I've been able to play with it a bit but I am really looking forward to taking more and better pictures this year.

12.  Eat at home more

My brother and sister in law gave me two eat healthy cook books for Christmas.   I am hoping it helps with the eating at home thing.

13.  I am really over the ridiculousness of Facebook.  Again.  Starting January 1 I am going to follow last January's plan again.  I can only get on FB or read blogs 1 day a week.  Saturday or Sunday.  I am realllllly looking forward to the self imposed ban.  I do not need to limit news this year.  Unlike social media which slowly crept back into constant use after last years January avoidance, I still avoid most of the news like it's the black plague.

Do you have any goals for the new year?

If this post didn't bore you to tears and you want read last years resolutions that I keep referring to you can see my fitness goals here, my internet goals here and a follow up to the internet goals here.

 I leave you with a couple of my first pictures on my new camera.  They are not anything amazing but they were some of my very first attempts so I like them.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Thoughts on the Vilifying of Christmas

***I originally posted this on facebook.  A few words have been changed but the content is the same***

The vilifying of Christmas this year saddens me. Anything in life, from exercise to video games to aspects of Christmas can be taken to far. It is not the holiday’s fault one might feel pressured to spend beyond ones budget. It’s not the holiday’s fault that children feel entitled. All of the articles and Facebook posts all month that insinuate that Christmas is to blame are missing the mark. These issues are about personal responsibility not Christmas.

I love giving presents. I love giving presents that people need, and can’t afford on their own. I love giving presents that people want but would never buy for themselves. I love buying my nieces that year’s hot toy if I know they will enjoy it. I don’t take personal offense to what anyone asks for at Christmas. Be it a child asking for everything on the tv or an adult who says they don’t want anything while they have holes in their shoes. If you listen carefully, you can see the presents between their words that will light their eyes up.

This year, like most others, I exercised personal responsibility. I saved, I budgeted and I listened. I have a room full of toys, clothes and surprises that I cannot wait to hand out in a few days. There are two times a year when a person can ask or hope for things to make their life a little easier; Christmas and birthdays. Every article and Facebook post in the world condemning presents and Christmas for allowing presents cannot make me feel guilty about helping with the wants and needs of the people in my life.

We are allowed one time a year as adults to enjoy the magic and wonder of childhood. I choose to embrace it with my adult sense of personal responsibility and not vilify it for existing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thinking, Feeling, And The Little Things Grab Bag

Did anyone else eat themselves into 5 lbs over Thanksgiving?  I did.  That's a bid deal for me.  It takes me at least 2 months to lose 5lbs, and apparently only a couple days at my parents for a holiday to gain it back.

Besides the Jaba the Hutness going on I am feeling the need to move.  I am missing muscle and endorphins.  Everyone is doing 30 day challenges to the end of the new year, I think I might start one 10 days late.  Most of them have planks.   I have no idea how to plank, so I looked it up.   Plank + Eye Candy

I have an appointment with the Dr. tomorrow will I will probably be scolded for my weight gain and not allowed to continue on my current treatment.  Which is okay with me I think.  There are no easy fixes, and that one really helped me think about food differently which was what I needed.  I need to stop putting things in my mouth because that's what I always do.  Huge lesson for me to learn.

Speaking of my food issues, I am finding myself super obsessed with baking cake.  Kind of like my bread baking spree.  I even asked for these for Christmas so I can bake flat cakes.  Because my current dream is to make a lemon layer cake for me and a chocolate layer cake for my niece. Why?  No idea.

The big ticket item on my Christmas list this year?  A new camera.  Camera reviews are  really hard to interpret.  Are they saying that just because they are a camera snob who carries around a $3,000 camera?   Would I even notice their complaints?  After reading articles and review after review after review I settled on this one.  Better than my Sony Cyber shot point and shoot, but still with in my technical capabilities.  I hope.  If I get it I'll let you know.

More  food related I am totally digging these Bob Evans South West Breakfast Bakes.  Less than 150 calories and very very yummy.  You heat each side for 1:30 on each side the voila!  Hashbrowny goodness.  And we all know how I feel about potatoes.

Let's see what else am I loving that's not food related.....

Suave Dry Shampoo.  There are two different kinds, right now this is the only kind I can find at my store.  Both are awesome and spare my hair and my scalp daily shampooing.   One of these day's I'll be brave and go No Poo, but for now, this is making my life.

As previously discussed here I supinate.  Badly.  I recently had a test done on my feet and I was 99% severe.  Duh.  I have to go back to see if they think they can do anything for me.  In the mean time I bought my second set of these, since I wore the last ones out.  I also got a pair for my brother for Christmas who walks exactly the way I do.   It may not sound like an exciting gift, but when you aren't breaking your shoes every 2 weeks and you can walk like a half way normal human being it means a lot.  I hope he likes them.

You would also find this on last Nov or Dec's post but it is WoW season again.  If you need me, start playing World of Warcraft and we can chat.  My character is almost a level 80!  So.... close.....

What are you up to?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The ride that wasn't and the rain that was

Marion's forecast showed no rain until the afternoon.

The forecast said that while we were standing soaked, in the rain at 9:30 am. 

The main attraction of this event was a new bike for my mom.  She didn't know that she was getting one.  A lot of us went in to buy her a road bike as an early Christmas present.  My mom does not believe that she deserves nice things, so I did not think that she would take it well.

The bike came out of the van and she commented about how pretty and nice it was.  She said things like " There is no grease on it, why would someone let me borrow a brand new bike?"

My aunt Sue finally said something like " It's your bike"  My mom, still not getting it, said "yeah it's the bike I get to ride today isn't awesome?"

"No, literally it's your bike."

She then flipped out and ran over to my aunt Tersea and tackled her with a hug.  She did that like three more times.  She was so excited.  he asked if she really got to take it home, and then promptly told us that she had the prettiest bike there.

(She has a grey water bottle holder and a bike bag too)

It is  a newer version of my bike.  But she is right, it is a lot prettier. and she loves yellow.  She loved the bike so much that she took it much, much better than I anticipated.  It was really awesome.

So after the big reveal we got rained on some more and we decided to give up on the ride.  

We loaded the bikes back into the vehicles and took off for Mansfield.  My uncle mike did a check up on everyone's bike, which I always appreciate.   My bike actually stops when I tell it to now, go figure. 

Eventually the rain finally stopped so we all decided to ride to and on the Mansfield trail.  So we all got to go on a little 14 mile ride together and my mom got to try out her new bike.  We used the local bike shop as a turn around point, which is where the first picture was taken.

Bonuses for the day:  

1.  I got to spend time with my baby niece, which I never get to do.  She even tried to say my name, which was awesome.

2.  My bike fits in the back of the new car without having to do anything.  If I need to put in my aunts and mine then the front tires need to come off, but they fit!  With gear!

In spite of the rain it was a good day.

Mom, Sue, Teresa, Me

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thinking about:  

Feeling:  Stressed!  Stressed is definitely the word.  Worried about work and car payments and health and yada yada yada.
Watching: Greys Anatomy.  With Sandra Oh and probably the rest of the original cast members leaving this season, this might be my last.  They are trying to sell us on the new interns, but I just don't care.  I am also trying to watch this season of Glee, but it is really horrible and they are asking it really hard.  I am going to watch the third episode, the one that deals with Cory Montieths death.  After that though, I think I am done.
Reading: W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton.  It's nice to be back in Kinsey's world again.  I am going to try to finish this weekend and will try to get a review up.  
Looking forward to:  World of Warcraft season.  When it cools down and we are spending less time outside, World of Warcraft comes back.  I could use some mindless wandering in a different world.  One where I carry a sword and can kill random things.

Making me happy:  The new car! 2013 Honda Fit .  It hasn't been long but so far we love it.  I am looking forward to seeing if I can get my bike in it with out to much trouble.  Bike racks are a crappy option when you have a teeny tiny bike frame.

Friday, October 4, 2013

October! It's only been a month...

and two days.  But whose counting?

Work has been super busy and it's only going to get worse.  Besides work, what have I been up to?


Lots and lots

of bread.
Bike rides with friends

and family.

Football.  I know one of the legs in the picture.

Fall walks.

New car!
I like it a lot more than I thought I would so far.  We are on day 4, so far, so good!

And last, but not least, a new hair cut.  Very short in the back, not that you can see it.

So that's the October update.  I will try to show up here more regularly but I am not making any promises.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Endless Pasta Bowl Test

My husband and I have been married for three years.  We have gone to Olive Garden, once a year for most of our relationship.  Why?  Not for the free cheese, which they offer constantly.  "Would you like some cheese with your Coke?"  No, no I wouldn't.  We go for the annual Endless Pasta Bowl.

Most years, I am pretty sure we had 3 bowls a piece and a bajillion bread sticks .

The first year we were working on dieting we had two bowls a piece and half a bajillion bread sticks.

This year I had 1 bowl and one bread stick.  I was no where near finishing mine.

My husband had 1 bowl and 3 bread sticks.

We are definitely doing better about portion control. Our weight is less, we eat less and eat in more.

The Endless Pasta Bowl, oddly, has become a measure of our success.

I suppose the ultimate goal is to not go for the "Endless Pasta".

We are a far way from both of our goal fitness and weight.

With that said I am very proud of us and our progress.  Even if it is slow, it is forward.

Even measured by pasta.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fall Color Tour - Cycle with the Scouts

In 2012 my family suffered it's first close death in over 30 years.  All 6 of my grandparents are still alive. but we lost my Uncle David unexpectedly at 52.  Now I have a lot of aunt's and uncles.  If you don't count the married in ones the total is 7.  Of the 7, David was the one I was least close with.  He was my uncle and I loved him, I find it disingenuous to talk about him like I knew him well.  But I if I had to make a list, there were three things I knew about my uncle David.

1.  He enjoyed Sci Fi.  He gave me the Chronicles of Amber series when I was in high school.  This was my first real introduction into science fiction and fantasy.  I loved them and I have not left the genre since.

2.  He enjoyed riding his bike.  He had a steel road bike that he rode around town and to work.  Even when his kids were little he would bike with them in seats and trailers behind him.

3.  He enjoyed Scouting.  He was never in scouts himself.  However, when he had two twin boys something about scouting seemed to appeal to him.  he was a Scout Master and kept his kids involved all the way through Eagle Scout.  Camping, gadgets, problem solving, all things that appealed to him.

You can see why the The Fall Color Tour - Cycle with the Scouts. is appealing for those of us in the family that cycle.  I wrote a blog about it last year but  due to circumstances I am not ready to talk about yet, I did not ride it.

My Aunt T has not confirmed the distance yet.  If her and my Aunt Sue go off on their own ( I doubt it) I will gladly stick to the 25.  If not then they will want to do the 50 again this year.  I still have not gone over 32 miles and I have ridden maybe 5 times this year?  So that means I need a plan.

I doubt there will be anyway that I will be ready in one month for the hills.  Even if I suffer and slow everyone down, I can at least get as ready as possible.

I spliced together a couple of century plans, stopped at a dollar store and bought a white board, and voila!  a plan.

Disregard the penmanship

Not sure about the back to back days, I've never done that before, but it's only 10 miles so that's not to bad.  I plan on taking a spin class so the days might change.  I plan on considering that my fast ride.

Hopefully I survive the training and the ride.  Fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Madame De Stael The First Modern Woman

I had never heard of Madame De Stael before I ran into this book at Half Price.  I've been going through a biography/autobiography phase, slowly over the last couple of years.  It's been all women, which has not been intentional.  After this book, I think I am going to find a good biography of Napoleon.

Madame DeStael  lived, and was influential during the time of the French Revolution, Napoleons take over and the re institution of the monarchy.    She was educated, intelligent, a prolific writer and manic depressive.  Even though it is stated often through the biography that she is plain and does not dress well,  men fall at her feet wherever she goes.

This biographer had a very specific interpretation of Madame De Stael, her motivations and her life.  I am interested in finding another biography about her to hear another biographers perspective.  My main complaint with the writing is that she used the same descriptions and rationalizations multiple times.  Once an author says points out a rationalization once or twice, I can start seeing the pattern and making the conclusion myself.  I don't need it pointed out to me every single time.

If you enjoy biographies this is definitely worth reading.  I read it over two days because it was very hard to put down.  I was always wondering the new way she was going to tick off Napoleon or what her next exploit/romantic conquest was going to be.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Thinking, feeling and such 7.29

Thinking about:  Indoor Cycling tomorrow.  Last Thursday was a great class.  I am upset I have to miss this weeks Thursday class but I am going Wednesday or Friday morning instead. Still disappointing, the Thursday instructor was awesome.
Feeling:  Pretty awesome.  I had  great birthday (that I will blog about later), and am feeling really content and thankful for my life.
Watching: Pretty Little Liars .  I am mostly embarrassed to admit it.  I am almost through the first season, so no spoilers!  It's good fluff, and not as heavy as Greys anatomy.
Reading: Dead Weight the second book in the Lizzy Gardner series.  It was an enjoyable read for the most part.  One of the storylines was....awkward.  I am hoping they drop it in the third book.
Looking forward to:  Wolves of Midwinter .  Anne Rice has been pimping it pretty hard on her facebook.  Every time she talks about it I almost go out to Amazon to buy it and then I remember that it doesn't come out until October .

Making me happy:  The Afghan my mom made me.  She had me pick one out of a book like 15 years ago.  I picked the hardest one.  15 years later she gave it to me for my birthday.  It's beautiful and it's a perfect summer, air conditioning cover up.

Thanks again to Lindsay @ Running with Tongs  for the inspiration.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lunch In The Park

We love our local parks.  We use the trails for dog walks, geo caching and bike rides.  We go there occasionally for breakfast lunch and dinner.  We really enjoy being out by the water, the trees and fresh air.  Bella likes it because she gets new smells and can claim new fiefdoms. Here is last Sunday's trip.

Thanks to Ni Hao Yall for hosting Sunday Snapshot!

Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rita Moreno

I walked by this in Half Price books.  I read the back, looked at the price and walked away.  I tend to only buy from the clearance rack.  I got to the clearance section and thought, "I wonder if anyone has picked it up yet."  I picked out three books and wandered over to the religion section.  " There was only one copy, maybe I should look at it again."  I wandered back over to the book.  That's when I heard they were having their 20% off sale.  I picked it up.  

I read it in one day.

Her life was intense and she wrote about it beautifully.  I couldn't wait to see what her next struggle and conquest would be.  I couldn't wait to see the rest of her story.  I loved the inside look into Hollywood and familiar names.  

I do have a warning.  If you pick up this book, you will fall in love with her, and her story.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Thinking, Feeling and Such 5.27.13

Thinking about:  Starting the calorie counting thing again today.  It was suppose to happen last Monday, but I just couldn't do it. 
Feeling: Lots. On Friday the numbness that I had been happily living in for two weeks wore off.  Now I have to actually deal with my feelings.  Blah. 
Watching:   Greys Anatomy from the beginning.  I've watched Grey's since the beginning and I thought it would be fun to start over.  I've never watched reruns so this is the first time I've seem some of these episodes in 9 years.  I am really enjoying it.  Again.  :)
Reading: I read " Rita Moreno A Memoir" in one day.  Yesterday to be precise.  She is impressive, intriguing, and inspiring.  ( yes I realized I used all I words there).  I'll try to get a review up later this week.  Loved it.  Highly suggest it.
Looking forward to: My Nieces first birthday party.  I haven't seen her in person for months.  And buying baby clothes!  
Making me happy: Pandora.  I realize I am really, really late on this.  I am listening at home and work, and having a great time.  My two favorite channels are The Goo Goo Dolls and Les Miserables.

Thanks again to Lindsay @ Running with Tongs  for the inspiration.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Snapshot 5.26.13

Saturday night Snapshot today.

My husband is working at a different building a few days a week now.  That means a new parking garage and getting to see another part of the city.  The fun thing about the new parking garage is it over looks a little park, and has a great city view all around it.  My parking garage view isn't half as interesting.  I did not take photos of the other two sides, but it's definitely on my to do list.  The other fun thing ( for me at least) about this view of the city is I can't see my building from it.  I work in a very tall building, and being downtown usually means work is looming over me.  I also want to go back when the carousel is open.  Because whats not fun about a carousel?

Thanks to Nihaoyall for hosting Sunday snapshot! I am having a lot of fun exploring other blogs.

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bike Rides, Uncut Grass, and Flip Flops

Sunday summer time fun!  My little dog lost in the precut grass.  Can you spot the Bella?

Three of my new favorite summer time things.  Aeropostale flip flops( that match every summery dress I own), sundresses, and my new super awesome chair.  The super awesome chair is sure to make an appearance of its own in  a favorite things post.

There is a part of my bike trail where the paved trail just randomly stops.  If you look closely, there is a  beaten down man made trail that continues it on.  Eventually it opens up to this spot.  Under a train bridge, beside a creek, and the start of the paved trail again.  I don't go this way often, so I took the opportunity today to stop some pictures of the scenery.  It really is quite striking. 

19 miles on my bike today!  Super slow, 1.  You can't really be speedy on this part of the trail. 2.  I was with my friend who was on a hybrid, not a road bike, 3.  I haven't been out much.  Still. 19 miles and next week ( as long as the weather cooperates) I am going to get my butt out there and burn some calories.

Thanks to Nihao Yall for hosting Sunday Snapshot!  This was my first time but it was a lot of fun to stop and appreciate my surroundings with a few pictures.

Ni Hao Yall